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A post claiming that scientists in Israel have discovered vaccine of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is doing rounds on social media. We verified the claim and found it to be mostly false.
We received a Whatsapp forward from one of our readers asking us to verify the claim in the image. The image in the message reads , “No More Coronavirus Deaths. God bless Israelites, they have discovered vaccine for coronaviruses”.
Since there are a lot of fake and misleading facts floating around Coronavirus and situations related to it, we consider the website of World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Ministries’ to be the authentic sources of information. Any big update such as the invention of a vaccine for an already pandemic condition, will be updated on the websites of major health organizations and their social media channels. But we found no information as such. Instead, WHO has repeatedly mentioned that the vaccine for COVID-19 is still not available.
We checked with major pharmaceutical companies about the vaccine. However, no such update was available with any company. Rather, the latest press release from Pfizer (Source: Click Here) reveals that the company has joined hands with another company BioNTech to “develop BioNTech’s mRNA-based vaccine candidate BNT162 to prevent COVID-19 infection.”
There are around 35 companies and academic institutions who are racing to create such a vaccine. The latest report from multiple international media houses reveals that the first of these – produced by Boston-based biotech firm Moderna will enter into human trial soon. (Source: Time)
So, was the Israeli company news completely fake? Since there was no company name mentioned in the vial of the medicine in the image, we searched for Israel-based companies working in the area of vaccine research in Coronavirus.
Apparently, out of the 35 companies and academic institutions that are racing to create such a vaccine, MIGAL Research Institute in Israel is one. The company issued a press release in February that said that they are working towards developing a COVID-19 vaccine and they have had a breakthrough. The company had successfully managed to create a vaccine against avian (birds) coronavirus Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV), which affects poultry. The company will put soon be adapted and put to human trial. But this will require genetic adjustments to adapt the vaccine to the human strain of the virus.
While this is surely an advancement towards finding a vaccine for COVID-19, the vaccine is not yet ready (as on date of filing the story; March 18, 2020).
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